You have to know the whole for-profit industry is watching this one. Maura Lerner of the Strib reports: “Five students have filed a class-action lawsuit against Globe University in Woodbury, accusing the for-profit school of misleading and manipulating prospective students and lying about its job placement rates and accreditation. The new allegations surfaced just two months after a former dean, Heidi Weber, won a $395,000 judgment against Globe in a whistleblower lawsuit over alleged ethical violations at the school. … One former student, Sarah Beck of Sioux Falls, S.D., said that when she enrolled, she was told that Globe was fully accredited and that its credits would transfer to any school or university. But she discovered the opposite when she graduated from its health care management program in 2010, with more than $41,000 in student loans.”
At MPR, Alex Friedrich, who has been following the case closely, writes: “In essence, the lawsuit claims the for-profit schools misled students about information such as job-placement rates, starting salaries, program accreditation and the transferability of the schools’ credits. The suit claims that many students leave the schools with worthless degrees but saddled with student loans. … The suit describes ‘an aggressive, boiler-room culture’ among recruiters, who ‘hound’ prospective students and mislead them. The system, it says, is designed to ‘enroll as many students as possible by any means so financial-aid profits flow to its pockets.’ Graduation rates range from 27 percent to 50 percent, it says — and less than that for low-income students — rates the suit calls ‘abysmal.’ ” Why do these lawyers want to crush the entrepreneurial spirit?
In Brett Neely’s MPR survey of our congressional delegation, he says: “As the federal government shutdown goes into day two, members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation remain at odds over what it will take to pass a bill to get the government funded again. … U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican who represents the 2nd District, said he would not vote for a clean bill. ‘We need the Senate to come to the table and negotiate,’ Kline said. ‘That’s what we’re trying to do.’ But there’s a problem with that argument. Senate Democrats have tried for months to open budget negotiations, but at every step Republicans have blocked such efforts, at times by using the filibuster, a tactic in which they insist on a supermajority of 60 votes to advance a bill.” The congressman might have thought he was back on the Davis & Emmer Show.
Add another one to the trail of bodies … Ryan Foley of the AP says: “An Iowa state senator resigned Wednesday after a special investigator found it likely he violated ethics rules by taking money from political entities connected to former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and then denying he’d done so. Sen. Kent Sorenson told The Associated Press that he had already decided he would not run for re-election, and that his resignation was best for his family. He said his decision was ‘absolutely not’ an admission of wrongdoing. … Before announcing his resignation, Sorenson said he disagreed with the report’s conclusions that he made false statements or that he had accepted compensation from Bachmann’s camp. ‘I was never employed by Michele Bachmann. I was never employed by Bachmann for President. I was never employed by the PAC,’ he said. ‘I had a corporation that worked for a corporation that worked for Michele Bachmann.” We gotta remember that one for the Year’s Best Quotes.
Can lava lamps be far behind? MPR’s Tom Crann and Heavy Table’s James Norton discussed the revival of … tiki bars.
“TOM CRANN: Why tiki, and why now?
JAMES NORTON: It’s not just why — it’s also how. Cocktail culture has risen apace with food and beer culture in the United States, and tiki is part of that culture. Underneath all the sugary fruit juice and rail booze there is a real spark of joy and love that powers the zombies and mai tais that populate the world of tiki. I think people are perpetually enchanted by it — it’s got a nostalgic sheen to it, and almost a lost innocence.” Cue John Hiatt …
The “finishing touches” are being applied. Richard Meryhew of the Strib says: “Attorneys representing the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Minnesota Vikings worked into the night Wednesday putting the finishing touches on lease and development agreements for the team’s new downtown Minneapolis stadium. The authority board, which is overseeing construction of the $975 million project, is expected to vote on the agreements at a 5 p.m. meeting Thursday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The use agreement, which is expected to bind the team to the new stadium for at least the next 30 years, will detail terms of the team’s lease with the authority. The development agreement will spell out the responsibilities of each side during construction, as well as outline the parameters for seat license fees — a one-time fee charged to season ticketholders for the right to reserve a seat.”
“As we know it” is the key phrase. In a Strib commentary, Lawrence Perelman writes: “We’re far beyond the blame game, and I feel it is time for the Minnesota Orchestra to be taken off life support so it can rise in a different form. … Here’s how the musicians make history: Follow Maestro Vänskä’s lead and resign from the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Immediately announce the creation of the Minnesota Symphony, a self-governing orchestra modeled on the Vienna Philharmonic. Find a charitable organization to give temporary use of its tax status (while you establish a new nonprofit) so you can receive donations from foundations and corporations and from your audience. Govern yourselves, and assign responsibilities to yourselves. Make history by setting an example for other orchestras to follow, and end the labor-management paradigm that leads to these kinds of disputes.” He imagines the Orchestra’s current bosses giving them a sweetheart deal on hall rental.
Facebook exec and author Sheryl Sandberg was in town Wednesday. Adam Belz of the Strib attended and writes: “Sandberg said the progress of women in business, and particularly in technology, has flatlined. Men are more often rewarded for showing initiative, she said, women more often subtly punished. Both are guilty of harboring this bias, and the problem is powerfully self-perpetuating, said the author of ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,’ who has since launched a campaign encouraging women to be more ambitious and assertive. … While the number of jobs that require high-tech skills has grown dramatically over the past few decades, the share of women preparing for those jobs has plummeted. Thirty-seven percent of computing degrees went to women in 1985, compared with 18 percent in 2009, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology.”
The baby-slapper may have to do some time. Kate Brumback of the AP says: “Joe Rickey Hundley entered the guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. His trial had been set to start Thursday morning. Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy and then hit him under the right eye as the flight from Minneapolis began its descent to the Atlanta airport, authorities have said. The misdemeanor simple assault charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $100,000. Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of six months in prison, but Hundley reserved his right to argue for a lower sentence … The agreement also requires Hundley to enter a drug or alcohol treatment program and attend anger management classes. He told the judge he has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings almost daily since March and has already enrolled in an anger management class.” Yeah, right. Call us when you graduate.